Shrinking local government
SUFFOLK councillors were today left licking their wounds after an amazing snub by government bureaucrats considering the future of the county.The Boundary Committee for England has been considering the future shape of the county for the last few months – with the aim of new council divisions being in place by the next elections in May 2005.
SUFFOLK councillors were today left licking their wounds after an amazing snub by government bureaucrats considering the future of the county.
The Boundary Committee for England has been considering the future shape of the county for the last few months - with the aim of new council divisions being in place by the next elections in May 2005.
It has now published its draft report - and has rubbished most of the suggestions coming from County Hall.
Suffolk wanted to see the number of councillors increase from 80 to 90 to take account of the increased population since the last reorganisation in the mid 1980s.
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The Boundary Committee has rejected this and proposed that the number of councillors in the county should fall to 75.
This would see the end of the current situation in Ipswich where county divisions follow the same boundaries as borough wards.
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Instead of 16 county councillors, Ipswich would only have 12 under the new proposals.
Other communities would see their representation increase substantially.
At present there is one county councillor for Martlesham and Kesgrave. The new proposals would see one councillor representing Martlesham - including Nacton, Kirton, and Bucklesham - and two representing Kesgrave and Rushmere.
There are currently three divisions in Felixstowe and a separate one for the Trimleys.
Under the new proposals, there will be two councillors representing "Felixstowe Coastal" and a third will represent Felixstowe North and the Trimleys.
Today's proposals from the Boundary Committee are not necessarily the final shape of the county - people have until March 8 to comment on them - but it is unlikely to make major changes at this stage.
All the county council would say today was that it noted the proposals and invited anyone to visit the Boundary Committee's website on www.boundarycommittee.org.uk.
However privately many councillors and officials are understood to feel that the Boundary Committee has delivered them a major snub because they have comprehensively rejected the central thrust of the council's position.
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